e52. PCA/ACA 2019 Preview: Game Studies

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, then you’ve no doubt heard us mention the PCA/ACA conference that all four of us are attending in a few weeks. It’s a place where academics get together and share their work on popular culture. In fact, it’s a while lot like this show and …

e51. So What Is Subculture Anyway?

We’ve been talking a lot about subcultures on our last couple of episodes. And the terms comes up a lot on the internet — usually negatively — to refer to everything from hipsters and punks and goths and geeks to Republicans and Democrats to Christians and Muslims to … uh… MAGA hat wearers. Often if …

Call For Comments: The PCA/ACA Preview Special

From Mav: We’re doing something a little different on the next show. One of the reasons we started VoxPop was because as academics we end up doing a lot of academic conferences… and we had the idea that the kinds of discussion we have at them would make for an interesting show, especially since my …

e49. Cinema vs. Streaming

Recently Steven Spielberg allegedly implored the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make it harder for films distributed primarily through streaming platforms to win Oscars. Or maybe he didn’t. The details are actually kind of fuzzy. But moreover, we’re not sure it really matters whether he did or not. The very idea of …

Call For Comments: The (super)Power of Fashion and Symbols

From Mav: In one of my favorite recent comics, Batman #37 by Tom King, Batman and Superman are discussing the crests on their shirts. Superman tells Batman that S on his isn’t really an S. It’s a Kryptonian symbol and it stands for hope. Batman responds that “the bat stands for a bat.” I love …

e48. Political TV and Nostalgia

In the current age of Trump, we’ve noticed a peculiar trend. People yearning for the days of an earlier president… a great orator… a wise statesmen with decorum… a calming presence on television. Not Barack Obama (well, maybe he too). We’re talking about Jed Bartlet, fictional president on television’s The West Wing. Of course, he …

e47. Milkshake Ducks & Problematic Artists

It seems like it happens every day lately. Your favorite writer, comedian, singer, actor, sports star, politician or whatever suddenly hits the news because it turns out he’s a racist, rapist, sexist, homophobe, murderer or otherwise deplorable person. Particularly in the #MeToo era, we’re seeing this more and more with the likes of Bill Cosby, …